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Implementing sustainable land use systems to contribute to forest conservation, climate protection (REDD+) and the peace-building process in Colombia

As of: May 2021

Forests are important for biodiversity and they also have a major role to play as carbon reservoirs. However, ecosystems are often threatened by the expansion of land use. The project therefore promotes sustainable land use systems, with the focus on the agricultural sector (e.g. cattle farming). It is oriented on farmers in areas which have been identified as priority areas for carbon storage and landscape restoration and which are also affected or threatened by armed conflicts. The project contributes to reducing CO2, preserving forests, restoring degraded landscapes and improving the quality of life. In this way, it advances the implementation of the national REDD+ strategy and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), while at the same time strengthening peacekeeping activities. The systems are tailored to local conditions. The next step will be to develop strategies for scaling, which will promote the most promising approaches.

State of implementation/results

  • The project focuses on the departments of Caquetá and Cesar as the two regional nodes for piloting Sustainable Land Use Systems (SLUS). Restoration priorities are to be identified in coordination with all relevant institutions.
  • It is expected that the project will inform Colombia´s climate policy processes. Specifically, a baseline study on the cocoa sector, developed with the support of the project, is informing the design of the strategy to implement the recently launched Cocoa, Forest, and Peace Initiative.
  • The project staff is participating in the Colombian Roundtable for Sustainable Cattle Ranching in order to contribute to the NAMA for sustainable bovine livestock that is being designed by the Colombian government. CIAT acts for a second period as the Secretary of the multistakeholder platform for the zero-deforestation value chain agreement for the dairy and beef sector.
  • CIPAV has joined the Regional Roundtable for Sustainable Cattle of the Dry Caribbean, which involves organizations working on sustainable cattle ranching in Cesar, Guajira and Magdalena. CIPAV will present the project strategy and potential of silvopastoral systems for climate change mitigation and adaptation at a conference held on 19 September 2020.
  • The second batch of students of a postgraduate course on sustainable cattle ranching for the Amazon region (developed by CIPAV) began, but paused attendance due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak. CIPAV is working with Universidad de la Amazonia in Florencia to create a virtual version of the course – ZALF, CIPAV, and CIAT were actively involved in several scientific activities related to the project focus.

Further Links

Project data


Implementing organisation:
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) - Colombia

Implementing partner(s):
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V.
  • Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V.
  • Research Center for Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems (CIPAV) - Colombia

BMU grant:
5.199.957,75 €

11/2018  till  10/2022

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